By Graham "GSM" Matthews
WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins Interrupted Kane
I wasn't sold on Kane playing mind games with Rollins at first, but I've grown to love it since Raw. Kane acts extremely enthusiastic when he's the Director of Operations and it's so much better than his draining promos from when he was a boring heel. I'm typically not a fan of long talking segments to open shows, but he had an enjoyable exchange with Rollins on the mic here that set the stage for the night's main event between Rollins and Dean Ambrose.
Roman Reigns def. Luke Harper
Harper and Reigns have always worked well against each other and this was no exception. They seemed to skip over first gear and go straight into the finishing sequence (meaning the match was rushed), but I enjoyed it. The ban on interference ensured a clean fight and the brawl between the two was fun while it lasted. Reigns was the obvious victor, but Harper looked good in defeat by putting forth a strong effort against Reigns.
WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day def. Neville and The Lucha Dragons
It's encouraging to see The New Day are doing more to get under the skin of the audience during their pre-match promos, but their antics during their matches are too entertaining not to cheer. They produced a very fun matchup with Neville and the Dragons and their similar styles had quite a bit to do with that. The latter duo doesn't have much credibility, so they didn't suffer from the loss, but it was refreshing to see The New Day score a decisive victory for a change.
Cesaro def. Bo Dallas
As I mentioned in my Raw review, I was hoping to see Dallas resurface on WWE programming with the new aggressive attitude he's been trying out on Superstars and Main Event as of late, but it looks like he's already back to being a job guy. As for Cesaro, I'm just blown away by how WWE is using (or not using him, rather) right now. The back-to-back squashes against Big Show were simply inexcusable. I can't complain about him winning matches here and there, but a guy as popular as he is shouldn't be without direction.
Paige Interrupted Divas Champion Charlotte and Becky Lynch
Paige is such a brilliant bad guy, er, girl. I'm shocked she was miscast as a babyface for as long as she was. Her run-downs of Charlotte, Becky Lynch and Natalya were awesome and she's already doing the best work of her (brief) WWE career to date. Charlotte continues to struggle on the mic, but it might have more to do with how scripted her promos are than her actual abilities on the stick. It was cool to see something set up between Paige and Natalya for the future, but the crowd shouldn't have been cheering Paige. That's a direct reflection on how the other women have been booked as of late.
Ryback and Dolph Ziggler def. Intercontinental Champion Kevin Owens and Rusev
In addition to being a solid tag team match, this was a decent way of furthering the feuds involved. Needless to say, I hate that the Ziggler-Rusev program is still going on, but I'd rather settle for them facing off in the ring than in pointless promos again. By the way, the next time Owens is in action, listen for what he says to his partners and/or opponents. It's hilarious. Owens running off was in line with what his character would do, and it gave the babyfaces their win back following losses at Night of Champions and on Raw.
Dean Ambrose def. WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins (Non-title)
Seeing as how Rollins vs. Ambrose is one of my favorite feuds in the last few years, I was thoroughly entertained by this match. We've seen the match a handful of times before, but they have such great chemistry together that it's hard to complain. This was another enjoyable encounter from the two with the predictable finish of Kane costing Rollins the contest. I'm happy Ambrose scored a meaningful win, but it's not like he'll be getting a title shot any time soon, and Rollins keeps on getting beat for whatever reason. I'm fine with him feuding with Kane, but they need to protect Rollins better so he isn't perceived as a weak champion.
While I wouldn't call this a "must-see" show, it was definitely more amusing than your average edition of SmackDown and the two hours seemed to fly by (or at least for this viewer). Other than Cesaro vs. Dallas, which was passable, every match was well-wrestled and served a purpose. Nothing of note happened, granted, but the ample amount of wrestling was a treat and it left me satisfied on the whole, so I'll give the show a thumbs up this week.
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